Defoe urges Sunderland to remain upbeat

Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet during the Barclays Premier League match at The Liberty Stadium
Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet during the Barclays Premier League match at The Liberty Stadium

JERMAIN Defoe says Sunderland have to maintain the renewed feel-good factor at the Stadium of Light by continuing QPR’s away day misery tomorrow.

Second bottom QPR, still without a permanent manager, visit the Stadium of Light tomorrow night looking to avoid a 12th Premier League defeat on the road this season after suffering a last-gasp loss to Southampton at Loftus Road on Saturday.

In contrast, Sunderland are in a much more confident frame of mind after building on victories over Burnley and Fulham with a point at Swansea.

But Defoe knows Sunderland need to take advantage of QPR’s woes, as they look to extend the four-point buffer with the relegation zone.

“The games coming up are massive – and hopefully we can win them,” said Defoe.

“QPR are fighting as well, but we’ve got to be confident at home that we can get the three points.

“You’ve got to put in a performance at home, create chances, score goals and win games.

“That’s what we’re going to do.

“We’ve got to be hard to beat at home, and create chances with a lot of energy, like we did against Burnley, and we should be fine.”

Defoe netted his second Sunderland goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium with a stunning individual effort – picking the ball up just inside the Swansea half, driving towards the penalty area and rifling it into the bottom corner.

“As I was running with it, they dropped off,” said the January signing.

“I was looking to the left to see if Pat (van Aanholt) was there for the overlap.

“But I managed to get to the box and just decided to get the shot off, and when I got that yard, I was confident I’d get it on target and score.

“I was delighted to see it go in.”

However, Defoe’s first half goal was cancelled out midway through the second half when ex-Sunderland loanee Ki Sung-Yueng lost the attentions of Anthony Reveillere before heading past Costel Pantilimon.

“We’re disappointed with the goal we conceded, because we don’t really concede goals like that,” added Poyet.

“I think they had good possession and good movement, but it didn’t feel like they created any clear chances to score.

“Obviously the free-kick in the first half was just offside, but being out there, we felt like we were going to win the game, so we’re disappointed not to get three points.

“They move the ball well, but we’re disappointed with the soft goal we conceded.

“But we’ve got a massive game tomorrow now and hopefully we can get three points and kick on.”